93 / by vanessa

My last night here so Tim (my coworker) and I decided to head out for a serious Japanese dinner by way of souvenir shopping. I picked up a few things at this 8-floored department store in Akihibara that felt like Being John Malkovich. We moved on from there to Ginza which is the Tokyo equivalent of Times Square. We stopped in this really grand department store and I saw a pair of really beautiful shoes. That’s actually more significant than you might think since I’m unimpressed w/ the fashion here. So I deliberated on the shoes because were they really worth a car payment? YES! I decided to cut out the kombucha consumption for a couple of months. Unfortunately I had deliberated my way into closing time. I asked the salesperson anyway, who walked in the back for about 30 seconds, or just long enough to make it look like he actually checked, before delivering the bad news – they didn’t have my size. I don’t even know what my size is in Japanese but apparently they didn’t have it.
We left the store and went on the hunt for an authentic Japanese meal. Tim’s only requiremnent was that we couldn’t eat somewhere where they had a picture of the food in the window. We settled on Zakuro’s, clearly a local’s kinda place, where they managed to scrounge up an English version of the menu. And that’s where the journey began. When I think of Japanese food I think of sushi. I’m glad I’ve had that bubble popped though I can’t say I enjoyed it entirely. Menu for this evening:
1. Beer – should’ve had more than one
2. Mushy tofu in a relative soy sauce.
3. Warm eel roll
4. 5 different types of sashimi on a bed of ice. I don't doubt their quality, but I don't like chicken.
5. Henry. This is the name Tim gave to the miniature shark he ate. It was bigger than a sardine but smaller than an ear of cob and salted, head and tail intact. When one for each of us was placed on our table I protested. Tim insisted and I thought, when in Rome, or Tokyo as it were… so ewww, I ate it. Tim bit off the head, but I’m much more sensitive, instead gingerly cutting in the middle. I picked around the intestines just b/c it looked icky but Tim ate them -- a taste he described as rancid. It was kind of funny b/c he was like, "mmm this is is good" and then he swallowed the liver. Eeeeee.
6. Some kind of green bean tossed in some pukey jelly
7. Beef which I didn’t eat but apparently was quite nice.
8. Jellyfish strips (not really but they looked like it) in black sugar, aka molasses.
9. Peanut M&Ms (my own purchase to cleanse my palette)
Other things I love about Tokyo: heated toilet seats, automated taxi cab doors that open for you upon the press of a button, tiny portion sizes, the fact that we’re currently experiencing a typhoon. It’s true – apparently it’s hitting Kyoto right now and I’m sure they don’t think it’s cool, but since I’ve only been in a hurricane and an earthquake before I’m psyched to add typhoon to the list of natural disasters I’ve encountered (I get that it's a hurricane but since it sounds cool to say typhoon I'm counting it). I’m secretly hoping we’ll get to stay another couple of days here.